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Obituary: Holt, Dawn Suzanne (Brunzell)

Tue., June 17, 2014

Age 73

HOLT, Dawn Suzanne (Brunzell) Dawn Suzanne (Brunzell) Holt, of Great Falls, MT, passed away June 14, 2014, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

Dawn was born May 25, 1941, in Spokane, WA, to George and Marjorie Brunzell.

She spent her childhood in Spokane attending Hutton Elementary School and Lewis and Clark High School where she graduated in 1959.

Dawn graduated from the University of Idaho in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.

She was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at the U. of Idaho.

One week after graduating from college, Dawn married her high school and college sweetheart, Gregory Holt, on June 15, 1963.

They enjoyed a honeymoon traveling throughout Europe.

Upon their return, Dawn and Gregg headed to Fort Lee, Virginia, where Gregg served in the U.S. Army for two years.

While in Virginia, Dawn taught elementary school and gave birth to their first child, Kathy.

In 1966 they moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where their second child, Brad, was born.

In 1967, her family moved to Eugene, Oregon, where their third child, Wendy, was born.

While in Eugene, Dawn was active in the Episcopal Church, taught Sunday school, and was voted “Woman of the Year” by the Eugene Federation of Junior Women’s Clubs.

Dawn’s family moved back to Corvallis and then on to Beaverton, Oregon, where she was very active in PTA, served as a room mother, a Campfire Girls leader, and Cub Scout Den Mother.

Having lost her mother at age six, Dawn was determined to be a loving and involved mother.

Dawn spent many outings with her family including skiing, camping, river rafting, canoeing, hiking and vacationing.

Dawn’s home was typically where all her children and their friends congregated.

She was an avid animal lover, always having a West Highland White Terrier at her side.

She participated in many dog shows showing her Westies.

In December of 1978, Dawn and her family moved to Great Falls where she and her husband became involved in the management of several family owned farming and natural gas businesses.

Dawn later served as Treasurer of Hardrock Oil Company, Normont Farms and Triangle Company, a position she held until her death.

While in Great Falls, Dawn served her community in many different ways.

She taught beginning German in the grade schools for the AAUW for 15 years, served as Treasurer of the Junior League Christmas Collection for many years, served for nine years on the board of the American Red Cross, served as President of Giant Springs Heritage Park Board, was President of Great Falls Sister Cities, served as President of PEO Chapter I, was President of the Great Falls chapter of AFS Exchange Student Program and hosted two foreign exchange students, Franzi Amberg of Switzerland and Nany Aguado-Lopez of Spain.

Dawn was an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation having served as President of the Episcopal Church Women, served on the Church Vestry, was Secretary of the Memorial Foundation, and actively participated in Episcopal Migration Ministries helping Bosnian and Russian refugees come to Great Falls.

Dawn loved to travel and she and her husband made numerous trips to Europe as well as Russia, China, and South Korea.

One of the highlights of her travels was attending the King of Sweden’s 50th birthday party at his palace in Stockholm.

Dawn was a member of the Travel Club of Great Falls and was co-founder and Treasurer of the Montana Exploration Company travel club.

She played tennis at the Meadowlark Country Club for many years, was an enthusiastic bridge player, enjoyed reading books as a member of the Page Turners book club, and having coffee with her friends at their Monday morning coffee group.

Dawn is survived by her husband of 51 years, Gregg Holt; siblings Dr. John (Pat) Brunzell of Seattle, Diane Salz of Seattle, and Laura Franklin of Spokane; daughter Katherine Gliko of Oilmont; son Bradley (Jenny) Holt of Spokane; daughter Wendy (Travis) Deaton of Missoula; eight grandchildren, Spencer (Christy) Gliko, Stephanie Gliko, Emma Gliko, Allison Holt, Trevor Holt, Bridger Deaton, Bremer Deaton, and Brookelyn Deaton; great-grandson Mack Gliko; along with several nieces and nephews.

Dawn was preceded in death by her parents, George and Marjorie Brunzell; step-mother, Millie Brunzell; and sister, Jennifer Platts.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on June 18, 2014 at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Great Falls, MT, conducted by The Rev.

Carolyn Kuhr of Kalispell.

A reception will be held at Meadowlark Country Club immediately following the memorial service.

Schnider Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Cascade County Humane Society, Box 1774, Great Falls, MT 59403, Sletten Cancer Center, 1117 29th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405, Peace Hospice of Montana, 1101 26th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at and Great Falls Tribune.


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